How To Hire Outside Talent for Your Library Programming

Presented by: Pat Wagner

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Program Number: LI 279

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Having spoken at hundreds of local, state, and national library conferences and conventions, I understand the business from the talent’s point of view. We want a clearly written set of expectations, library staff to work with who are great at communicating, and no big surprises. You want someone who is reliable and competent, who shows up on time, does the job well, and is easy to work with. How can good libraries and good talent find each other?


  • Introduction: What Do You Want From a Speaker?
  • The Key Idea: Enough Time and A Good Plan Solves Most Problems
  • Which is Most Important: Content, Delivery, or Reputation?
  • What Worries the Talent? What Should Worry You?
  • Have You Asked for Lots of References and Samples?
  • Are They Just Showing Up to Sell Their Book?
  • What Are The Signs You Hired The Wrong Person?


  • Hire better speakers for your conferences.
  • Establish standards for contracts and oversight.
  • Know what the takent should be expected to accomplish for you.

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